Hunting In The Selous, August 2004

As you all know, we hunted with Pierre van Tonder in Tanzania for the second time this year. And as usual with Pierre, we all had a great time in their camp. It must have been a  logistic nightmare to have 9 hunters in the same camp at the same time. But, Anneli, Pierre's wife, made sure everyone was kept happy. And I can assure you, with the lot we had, that was a monumental task.

In fact, she positively put any  5-star hotel to shame in its service compared to what we got at her camp.

We felt quite honored when we were given the chance to offer our own hospitality to her, her mother and sister as they passed through Dubai on their way to Turkey.

Mount Kilimanjaro in the far distance, with Mount Mero close by. I took this photo as we flew close to them on ten way to Dar Essalam.

My friend Todd Kindler with his first buffalo. We told him we needed a buffalo for lion bait, and it did not take him and Richard long before they brought this one home. Todd used my 375/404 on this hunt, and his PH, Richard Lemmer, has a 458 Lott.

Todd and an impala he shot

Pierre, Nelson, Walter and myself with Nelson's warthog. Nelson shot it on the last day of our hunt.

A view of our camp, taken from across the river. You can see the wimps, who refused to cross the river with us, standing out there. They said someone had to stay behind to tell our relatives how the crocs gobbled us!

The other two members of the "brainless trio" as our friends named us for crossing the croc infested river. We also brought across the rib cage of a buffalo, which you can see at the left side of this photo at the water's edge. We wanted to leave it for the vultures so we can photograph them.

Ray was having problems finding buffalo. And those he did find we seemed to get to them before him, and shoot them! So one evening at dinner time, he said to Pierre "I wish you can find me a witch doctor to take this buffalo jinx off me!" Pierre, the next day, was saying "where the hell can I find a witch doctor for Ray?" Walter turned to him and said "Pierre my friend, your wish is my command. My great, great, great grandfather was a witch doctor in Chili. So if you wish, I will put on my witch doctor attire, and perform the required deed on Ray!" Pierre was totally speechless - and if you know, Pierre, that takes some doing. Anyway, the witch doctor appeared, and managed to remove the spirits from Ray and his buffalo. In fact, Ray went out the next morning and clobbered the oldest dugga boy we have seen for many years. Another miracle occurred at this ceremony . Ray was absolutely speechless as the witch doctor appeared and commanded him to go sit on the elephant skull.

My two good friends - that is if one can call those who shoot his buffalos friends! Ray and Dwight. Dwight was not too keen on hunting buffalo, but once he killed his first one, then his second buffalo, we had to confiscate the rifle from him! He did not want to stop! This is one of his buffaloes.

Dwight, as many of you know, is a bench rest champion. And every year we do a shooting match for our trackers and game scouts. This year, we named it THE DWIGHT SCOTT SELOUS CLASSIC BENCH REST SHOOT, in Dwight's honor. I just thought you might enjoy seeing one of the shooting positions employed by some of the competitors.

What happens when you crowd the scope. This was Ray's Masai tracker.

The winners - there was no looser in this match, as they were eight, the prizes were started at $80 for the one who has the highest score, and $10 for the lowest.

These are the Walterhog bullets we managed to recover on this hunt. The one on the left is unfired, the next four were recovered from various buffalo, then one recovered from a Nyasa wildebeast, then another 4 from buffalo and the last one from the hippo. The hippo was shot at less than 20 yards in the head. All bullets fired into buffalo broadside went through, as well as those that were fired at any quartering angle.

The hippo we shot to use for crocodile bait.

A black mamba snake we saw while driving one morning. We jumped out of the truck, and chased it to take a video and photos of it as it reared itself up. It absolutely refused to do so, despite all our efforts.

An elephant bull that was a frequent visitor to our camp. One day he stuck his trunk into Walter bathroom!

A crocodile eating meat we threw at it in the river by the camp. You can see  a smaller one looking from the right.

A warthog I shot one morning close to camp. Pierre and Nelson wanted their photo taken with the pig too!

One of the buffalo I shot. We chased this herd for a couple of miles, without being able to see any bull to shoot. Eventually we caught up with them in this little clearing where he is lying. From our little hole in bush, all I could see was a cow looking straight at us, and I was worried that any minute she would take off with the whole herd behind her. Then this bull appeared right next to her, and the only place I could shoot him was his head. And that is what I did. The dark spot straight down from his eye is the bullet hole. The bullet passed below his brain, and broke his neck, dropping him in his tracks.

A great photo of a bull standing in the middle of the river

Todd and his second buffalo. Nelson, Walter and Dwight standing in the back, Todd and his PH, Richard are between their two trackers.

This is our living and dining room.

The latest in African fashion. Our tracker, Giraffe, decided to use this recovered bullet as an earring.

We saw a herd of buffalo walking a distance away from us, and got down wind of them and shot this bull. A few minutes later, Ray, Richard, Dwight and Todd appeared. Apparently they saw this same herd while they were on top of one of the mountains, and decided to got to them to shoot one. As luck would have it, we saw them while they were on their way, and managed to get one before them. Ray wasn't too upset this time, but, when it happened a second time, as you will see later on, and we managed to shoot two bulls when they were about 100 yards away from them, he was not too happy at all. Hence his request for a witch doctor to cure his jinx!

For those who have seen the video, this was the last buffalo we shot.

One of the resident crocs by our camp, eating a buffalo foot.

Todd, Richard, their game scout and trackers and Todd's kongoni.

We were having lunch on the bank of a river in the shade of some trees, when the boys said "lions!" We looked, and we saw this young male and 3 lionesses looking at us from less than 100 yards away.

Todd and his warthog

Nelson and his impala.

A Nyasa wildebeast

Ray, Todd and Dwight, with Dwight's second buffalo. We had to confiscate the rifle from Dwight after he shot this buffalo, as he did not want to stop hunting them! And this was a man who kept telling us "no, I don't really want to hunt buffalo. An impala is enough for me"!

A view of our tents

Another view of our camp. The path you see in this photo is on the left of the photo with the tents.

Walter with one of his relatives, together with our driver, the game scout and two trackers

Dwight with his impala

Horst with one of the two buffalo we shot just before Ray and Richard got to them. This was shot at a distance of about 17 yards, in the head. As that is all I could see Two other bulls ran off across the river - you can see the white sand at the top right hand of the photo. We ran after them and managed to shoot one.

Horst at his computer desk. The camp staff were absolutely in awe of him. He would take photos of them, and hand them the prints 5 minutes later.

Walter is helping Saeedi fill up our hunt forms. God only knows if anyone is going to make any sense after these two have finished with them. That is Saeedi's hut you see behind them

A crocodile I shot at about 220 yards. My first shot went a bit low, hitting him in the throat instead of the spine. He went into the water, and came up. Another shot finished him.

Our trackers cooking buffalo heart. It is their favorite meal. There were 4 of them, the driver, who you can see above cooking, the game scout and two trackers. They would cut a buffalo heart in small pieces, divide the lot into two parts, and eat it over two days.

3 tired hunters and their game scout. We followed a herd of buffalo for about 6 hours, catching up with them a few times, but never managed to see a shootable bull. This is where we left our truck, and and we got back there was no truck! Apparently, one of the fires caught up with him, so he had to run away from it. Todd wasn't too unhappy this time, as he only had to jump the fire 3 times! On a previous day, he had a choice. Either jump off a cliff to avoid the fire, or get his arms singed by going back over the fire.

My friend Dwight with his warthog

Another one of the buffalo I shot. Alan Vincent, our camera man, got so confused of all the stalk and stop we did he forgot to take a video of this shot! We say this herd late in the afternoon on the way back to camp. Pierre asked Walter if he wanted to shoot a buffalo, and his answer was "I will send my substitute! Hey Saeed, go shoot a buffalo so Ray can have his buffalo tail soup!" We did just that, and got into the herd, and eventually got to about 20 yards of this bull feeding. I broke his neck and he dropped in his tracks.

My friend Ray with an impala he shot.

Pierre is congratulating Walter for shooting a very unique trophy! Walter had a bit of a problem hitting anything this year, so while attempting to shoot an impala, he shot this great looking log. He insisted on taking it back to camp.

Finally, Walter managed to shoot an impala for us to use as leopard bait. In fact, he was so shocked that he actually hit the impala.

Nelson, Walter, Todd, Horst and half of Roy enjoying a drink by the fire

Look at this funny looking hole in this bull's horn

Here is a close up of it. Anyone has any idea what might have caused it?

A late afternoon shot of the boys relaxing by the fire.

Vultures enjoying a meal we dragged across the river for them

Nelson enjoys cooking. One day he made us a Chilean soup. Made of buffalo meat and black olives. He had a name for it, but no one of us could pronounce it. It tasted great though.

The village we passed through on our way to the bush airport, which is close to this village. Pierre is talking to another PH, and Ray is inspecting the female company!

Our bush airport. You can see the First Class lounge next to our trucks.

Our hunting party, and our hosts, Pierre and RichardDwight, Todd, Walter, Richard, Nelson, Saeed, Ray, Pierre, Roy and Horst sitting. Alan Vincent was taking the photo.

Walter has discovered a new use for the shooting sticks!

Walter the Masai warrior

This is what happens when one listens to Walter! There was a stack of these red bricks lying about this hut. Walter broke one in half, and had someone hold it. He gave it a karate chop, and broke it in two. Richard was looking, but he was not aware of the fact that Walter broke the brick earlier. So Walter had a bet with Richard, that he cannot break a brick with a karate chop like he did. Walter got one of those bricks, and held it by the sides. Richard hit it with his karate chop, the result was him jumping up and down screaming with pain! Walter, of course, was laughing!

At the Sea Cliff Hotel in Dar Essalam

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